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by Dee Gentle
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity

April 2006 Issue


Dark and Dangerous

Spotlight on Dark Paranormal Romance

Lynne Connolly

Lynne Connolly, who now also writes as Lynne Martin, was born in Leicester, England and has lived in England ever since. She loves to visit the houses that form the backgrounds to her Georgian set historical novels. Her Romany family has provided her with much of the information for her paranormal romances.

Lynne lives near the beautiful city of Liverpool with her family, which includes two cats, one of her own and an interloper who refuses to take no for an answer.

An Interview with Lynne Connolly

PNR: When did you begin writing?

Lynne C.: I wrote my first story when I was seven years old. It was a variation on 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight', and my mother still has it somewhere. I wrote my first novel when I was thirteen, and I'm very glad it has disappeared into the ether. I can still remember much of it and if I thought it was still out there, I'd die of embarrassment! It was a Georgian love story.

PNR: What is the best part about being a writer? The most frustrating?

Lynne C.: Writing. It really is wonderful to put your fingers on the keyboard and find words and stories pouring out. The research is exciting, the response from readers is wonderful, but nothing beats the writing process itself.

The most frustrating used to be getting the rejection letters, especially the ones that were so close I thought I'd been accepted.

PNR: Your writing features complex plots and characterization, where do you get the ideas for your books?

Lynne C.: They just grow. Seriously though, I do plot them out before I start. I start with my hero and heroine and ask myself what they need and what they think they need, which can be two very different things! Then I make sure their needs are somehow in conflict and off I go. I do try to work from the inside out, working from the characters first, then adding the plots and settings.

For the historicals, I use several primary sources, including the invaluable Newgate Calendar, which is an account of crimes committed in Georgian England. Once you’ve read these, you wonder why anyone makes anything up, because there are accounts of events so bizarre people just wouldn't believe them if they were in a novel!

PNR: You describe your writing as 'dark urban gothic' and it seems everyone has their own definition of 'Dark Romance', how would you define this sub-genre?

Lynne C.: For me, romance has to have a happy ending, but that apart, anything goes. I know not everybody agrees to me, but I write what I like to read, so I still love my happy ending!

However, dark romance goes into more controversial areas and deals with the dark night of the soul. Deep needs and desires, and conflicts that go to the very heart of humanity.

I like the term 'urban gothic', which helps to describe how the ancient worlds of myth and magic can be brought up to date. The city can be the equivalent of the Dark Forest in the old stories, the place of mystery and mayhem, where peril awaits.

For me, it’s less about the settings and genres than it is about what the stories deal with. Although my contemporary stories hold paranormal elements, I’ve read books classified as romantic suspense which could, in my mind, class as dark romances.

PNR: Could you tell us about the challenges of writing the gothic genre in a contemporary setting?

Lynne C.: Bringing the myths of old up to date without ruining them in the process. I try to understand the human impulses and desires that created the myths in the first place. I’m not over keen on books that trivialize the myths, because they represent the center of human hopes and needs, the heart of the concerns that plague every human being, ancient or modern.

But that doesn’t mean the books have to be unrelievedly dark. You have to have flashes of light to illuminate the darkness, human traits that can beat the fears. Intelligence to combat bigotry, for instance, and humour to counter sadness.

PNR: Your strong heroes and heroines strike an emotional cord with readers, which one is your favorite to write and why?

Lynne C.: The one I’m currently writing. I’m always deeply involved with the hero and heroine of the moment. When I’ve finished them, some stay with me more than others, but they’re all important. Cristos, for instance, haunts me at present, because he features in the Department 57 books, and I can’t see clearly into his future yet. He’s as much an enigma to me as he is to my readers. Garon Rothwell, from “Eternal Beauty, Eternal Darkness,” wouldn’t ‘talk’ to me. For the first 6 chapters he was a complete enigma, until I realized his central problem. It wasn’t his virginity, that was a symptom, it was the way Garon kept himself locked up. He had to be in control of his life and emotions, he couldn’t let go. So of course, I had to make him let go!

PNR: Could you tell us about your 'alter ego' Lynne Martin, why did you decide to use a pseudonym?

Lynne C.: Just to separate the genres I write. They do overlap, because there are books like "Season of Storms" which is a dark paranormal set in Georgian times, but I've been told I have different voices when I'm writing historical and contemporary, and I just wanted to make the difference a bit clearer.

PNR: What is your favorite genre to write? Is there a genre you would like to try?

Lynne C.: I suppose everything I write can be described as Romantic Suspense. My books always have a suspense element, but I've never written a 'straight' romantic suspense novel, with no historical or paranormal elements. I can see myself writing that sometime in the future.

PNR: Your new series sounds very intriguing; can you give readers a glimpse into DEPARTMENT 57?

Lynne C.: I introduced the Department in "The Chemistry of Evil". I'd always had the idea of a covert department with members culled from paranormal beings, and this was my chance to write it.

The Department is a department of the CIA, but the Agency doesn't quite know what goes on there. I read a book once about the Russian experiments into psi qualities, hoping to develop a weapon during the Cold War, and it occurred to me that what the Soviets had, the Americans might have as well.

My series is set in the present day. The CIA thinks the Department is now a research department, into sophisticated communication devices, but it is much more than that. Paranormal beings like vampires, shape-shifters and Sorcerers (like Garon Rothwell) face discovery, and they don't want that. They feel that if they 'come out', they'll be exploited or persecuted. However, since there are several species of dog, cat etc, why not humans? So they need the Department and other similar set-ups to preserve their cover. The humans who have discovered about them have banded themselves into two main groups - the scientists who want to pick them apart and try to use their special gifts, not for the good of mankind, but for their own advantage, and the purists, a society called the PHR, which wants to destroy them all, and believes they are 'deviants'.

The first two books in the series are about shape-shifters, but my shape-shifters aren't werewolves etc, they don’t take the form of creatures commonly found in nature, they are mythical beasts. So I have dragons, griffins, barghests (great dogs), and firebirds, for instance. It's a different ‘take’ on the theme that I hope readers will like.

PNR: Can you tell us about projects you are currently working on? What can readers expect to see in the coming months?

Lynne C.: I'm working on the first two Department 57 books, "Jewel of a Dragon", and "A Griffin's Treasure". I've introduced a team of mixed Talents in these books, and each book concentrates on one of the team. I hope to introduce more characters as the series goes on. And of course, Cristos features in each book!

I’m also working on the Olympians, a series that takes the ancient myth of the struggle between the Olympian gods and the Titans and brings it to the Georgian age. I've always loved this period in history, and the choice of this setting looked like a natural one when I started the stories. The first book, "Season of Storms", is out already and is about Zeus, the second will probably be about Bacchus, and hopefully will mirror the Bacchus and Ariadne legend, the subject of my all time favorite painting, Titian's masterpiece.

The Richard and Rose books are due to be re-released later this year, too, so I’m delighted to see them.

Also, a four part series about a shape-shifting rock band. I've always loved hard driving rock music, and been peripherally involved in the business in my past, so this is a chance to add a twist to the theme and to explore one of my passions.

PNR: Thank you Lynne, for taking time out to talk to us; where can readers find out more about your upcoming projects, and how can they contact you?

Lynne C.: I have a website, which has excerpts from all my books, together with articles on writing and short stories to download. Check out the heroes page, which has some of the images I use for inspiration!

I also have a newsletter, which is currently serializing one of my Regency novels, a previously unpublished book called “Loving Lucy.” You can get the earlier chapters from the archives of the newsletter.

Join either by sending an email to:

Or by visiting the group on the web.

I contribute to the UK Regency authors website and blog. You can find out what life is like on this side of the pond, and catch up on our activities:

And to the Triskelion author blog on:

I write for Triskelion, Mundania, Awe-Struck and Champagne Books, as well as being an occasional contributor to Suite magazine.

Lynne Connolly



Buy it now!

December 1, 2005
ISBN #1932866469

Read the Reviews!

Black Leather, White Lace contains the stories of Vernon and Nathaniel Heatherington, brothers on opposites sides in the English Civil War. When they duel, each slaughters the other, and they are forced to haunt their old home, Rustead Abbey, until they have expiated their sin. Vernon Heatherington falls in love with the Regency Countess of Rustead, Cassandra. He is her only comfort in her unhappy marriage, but Vernon has only one day of corporeal form a year. Can they cram a lifetime's loving into a handful of days?

Two centuries later, Nathaniel Heatherington falls madly in love with Sylvie, the current Countess. When a TV crew descends on the Abbey, Sylvie's philandering husband is murdered. Nathaniel is granted corporeal form to find the murderer, but faced with the reality of Sylvie, he founds her impossible to resist. And Sylvie loves him back.

Sensuality from ghosts? You'd better believe it!

Buy it now!

October 1, 2005
ISBN #1932866499

Read the Reviews!

A Love for All Time
by Lynne Connolly

Haunted Hearts by Linn Random
Savage Love by Audrey Godwin

Buy it now!

September 1, 2005
ISBN #1933471581

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Immersed in the history of Scarlet Oak Manor, Maggie releases malevolent forces when she is possessed by the spirits of previous owners Lyle and Susannah Forrester. Voodoo practitioner Etienne Fabron will go to any lengths to regain the fabulous Midnight Star sapphire.

Without her estranged husband Garner's help, they will destroy Maggie. Garner better get past nobility because the only thing that will save Maggie is the fact that he's a vampire. If she doesn't accept Garner for what he is, Maggie may find she's walked right into the arms of a killer.

Buy it now!

August 1, 2005
ISBN #1933471409

Read the Reviews!

If Garon Rothwell has sex, he loses his powers - and also the rigid control he has over his life. But when he meets bookstore owner and ex-army intelligence officer Tara Carlisle, he is sorely tempted to give in to the passion she evokes in him. The only thing stopping him are his own fears and a woman four hundred years dead.

Tara wants Garon, but until they catch the evil stalking her little town, she can't give in in to the desire she knows they both feel.

Erzsébet Báthory killed over six hundred women the last time she walked the earth. Now Tara has inadvertently brought her back, can Erzsébet beat her previous record?

Or can Garon and Tara stop her before she becomes too powerful to kill?


Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with:

Additional Titles by Lynne Connolly

Buy it now!
January 1, 2005
ISBN #1932866752

Read the Reviews!
Sofie Adams knows Evan Howell isn't good for her, but his devastating sex appeal makes him impossible to ignore. An ex felon, now an agent for the sinister CIA Department 57, Evan is everything Sofie doesn't need in her new job with the FBI. But when Sofie releases the evil of Mordred, son of Arthur, from his long imprisonment, only Evan can help her destroy him.

Before Mordred destroys them both.

Passion and danger combine in an explosive mix, taking Sofie to depths she can't imagine, heights she never knew existed.


Novel Books, Inc.
May 1, 2002
ISBN #1931696713

Read the Reviews!
 A spooky old house, murder and two people who find the love of a lifetime.

Out of Print

Writing As Lynne Martin

Buy it now!
February 15, 2006
ISBN #1933471875

Read the Reviews!
The first book in a new series about the gods of Mount Olympus, brought back to Georgian England.

The Incurables ward at Bedlam isn't the usual place to meet the love of your life but that's where Julian Fareweather, Lord Harlestone, meets Phoebe Mallory. Love is the last thing on Phoebe's mind, but she'll play Julian's game if it keeps her brother safe from their murderous father. With Phoebe, Julian can't resist the intimacy of love; the world he is forbidden to enter. As a result, Julian and Phoebe find themselves at the centre of the war between the Olympian and their old enemies, the Titans. Old secrets are revealed, old hostilities resumed. Can their new found love survive?

Buy it now!
Champagne Books
September 2, 2005
ISBN #0973762721

Read the Reviews!
Marianne Noble is a lady's companion when she meets Jerome Rivers at the fashionable Northern resort of Scarborough. The devastatingly handsome Jerome sweeps her into a world of riches, privilege and love. When a mysterious assassin threatens their lives, Marianne must take all her courage and defeat the evil that has entered her new world. Otherwise she will lose everything; a love beyond imagining, her independence and even her life.
All book synopsizes are copyrighted to the authors/publishers.

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